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  • Imperial Oil Ltd.

Imperial approves CAD$720 million for largest renewable diesel facility in Canada


Imperial's Strathcona refinery near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Photo: Imperial)

Imperial, Canada’s largest petroleum refiner, announced Jan. 26 it will further help Canada achieve its net-zero goals by investing about CAD$720 million (USD$560 million) to move forward with construction of the largest renewable diesel facility in the country.


The project at Imperial’s Strathcona refinery near Edmonton, Alberta, is expected to produce more than 1 billion liters (264 million gallons) of renewable diesel annually, primarily from locally sourced feedstocks, and could help reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in the Canadian transportation sector by about 3 million metric tons per year, as determined in accordance with Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation.


Regulatory approval for the project is expected in the near term.


“Imperial supports Canada’s vision for a lower-emission future, and we are making strategic investments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from our own operations and to help customers in vital sectors of the economy reduce their emissions,” said Brad Corson, Imperial chairman, president and CEO. “The investment at our Strathcona refinery will deliver immediate benefits to the local economy creating jobs and contributing to a lower-emission energy future for our employees, neighbors and communities.”


The renewable diesel project was first announced in August 2021, with the province of British Columbia supporting this project through a “Part 3 Agreement” under the BC low carbon fuel standard.


A significant portion of the renewable diesel from Strathcona will be supplied to British Columbia in support of the province’s plan to lower carbon emissions.


Imperial also intends to use renewable diesel in operations as part of the company’s emission-reduction plans.


Imperial’s renewable diesel facility will use low-carbon hydrogen produced with carbon capture and storage technology to help Canada meet low-emission fuel standards. Imperial has entered into an agreement with Air Products for low-carbon hydrogen supply and is developing agreements with other third parties for biofeedstock supply.


The low-carbon hydrogen and biofeedstock will be combined with a proprietary catalyst to produce premium lower-emission diesel fuel and will reduce GHG emissions relative to conventional fuels.


Site preparation and initial construction are underway. Renewable diesel production is expected to start in 2025.


The project is expected to create about 600 direct construction jobs, along with hundreds more through investments by business partners.

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